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posted Friday, August 13, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 33
SLDN, HRC launch 'Countdown 2010' grassroots campaign
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SLDN, HRC launch 'Countdown 2010' grassroots campaign

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), jointly announced today a new grassroots campaign to increase support and to press for passage of DADT repeal in the U.S. Senate as well as passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. House.

According to the organizations, this nationwide campaign will mobilize grassroots supporters of equality across the country through in-district meetings as well as a call-in and e-mail campaign.

"We need supporters to contact their senators and tell them to repeal DADT and follow the lead of Chairman Carl Levin who will be managing the defense bill on the floor," said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for SLDN. "It is critical that we beat back any filibuster threat, defeat attempts to strike repeal, and defeat any crippling amendments. Senators need to hear from us now, especially in the 10 key states where our combined SLDN and HRC field teams are working now."

HRC and SLDN's efforts will be specifically focused on 10 states with key lawmakers whose votes on DADT repeal are critical: Arkansas, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Virginia.

In addition, HRC will also engage the LGBT community and their allies in those states on ENDA as well as on-the-ground work for ENDA in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

To participate, individuals can sign up at countdown2010.hrc.org. There, you can find downloadable meeting toolkits, videos on in-district meetings and information on how to schedule a meeting and report back on how it went.

"As we approach the waning days of the Congressional session, we must continue to demand immediate action on critical legislation," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "LGBT voters and our allies will be keenly aware of Congressional action or inaction as the November elections approach."

"LGBT people and our allies can make a real difference by making their voices heard face-to-face and in the districts where they live," added Solmonese. "Many of us are frustrated with the pace of progress and this is a way to get involved to make change happen.

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